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Well spent aid is good for us and saves lifes

18th February 2010

Andrew Mitchell, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, argues that aid does not just save lives: it’s good for us too.

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When Bill Gates decided to spend his fortune, his top priority was measurable investments in public health in poor countries.

Can anyone find a better example of value for money than immunising a child against killer diseases for 50p?

Such aid has eradicated smallpox and significantly reduced polio cases.

It’s not just Mr Gates’ money but taxpayers’ cash that is saving lives.

For millennia, people have died from preventable diseases such as malaria but in this era we have an opportunity to end that.

Such a move is good for Britain too.

Promoting development around the world can help find a more resilient solution to terrorism and failed states, a move the centre Right is championing.

However, we also need to face the facts about aid and ensure that it is properly distributed.

The Conservatives would scrap Labour’s system of self-evaluation and replace it with proper scrutiny through an independent aid watchdog and focus on countries where we can make a real difference.

We would reduce, or even abolish, funding for UN and multilateral agencies that fail to deliver results and extend choice to women who have no access to contraception and end corruption.

We will take a pro-business approach and encourage investment from British companies; we will also ensure British aid is more effective in Afghanistan and wired into the broader British mission.

Helping to build a safer, more prosperous world is not just a moral imperative, but also firmly in Britain’s national interest.

 

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